Posted in Uplifting

Winter Blues

This winter has been one for the record books, it has been one of the wettest and coldest I can remember. It is wonderful for the drought that has plague California and Nevada for so long but has left me in a “funk.”

I don’t know if I should toss it up to the weather or the fact, I have had more life changing health conditions that will be on going for me. I’m thinking that both have a lot to do with my funk. On a lot of days this winter I’ve given myself pep talks and pray like I had never before. This is not like me, this funk, this no energy or wanting to embrace the seasons in my life. Then as I was reflecting on these feelings, I realized that perhaps yes, a lot has happened the last few months and yes this “funk” is with me, but it won’t define me. I may have cancer, but it has given me a new perspective on life. Cancer is not a death sentence; it is a life sentence; it pushes me to truly live in a way I have never before. So, I acknowledge my “funk” that I’m in and validate it, doing so is when I feel free and at peace.  Extending grace and validating feelings sitting in the season of winter is the fastest way to healing.

Pep talks and prayer do work but for me the time I chose to be still and reflect giving grace to myself is when the winter of my soul began to thaw and heal. I think it is amazing that in the stillness of this season is where I am fining more growth so that I can embrace this season in my life, it has been hard but that’s when the most growth happens. I needed this winter of quiet and reflection so I am ready for my spring, when ever that may be.

Just like this winter has been one for the record books so has this time in my life. I have always enjoyed this passage in the Bible, perhaps you will too.

A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Posted in Recipes

Veggie Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

I enjoy all sorts of food but for me there is nothing like Mexican food to bring me back to growing up in Phoenix and enjoying some of the best I have tasted in America. It is with that thought which brought me to making green chili enchiladas. I have tried all sorts of substituents for the meat and really enjoy most of them but in this recipe I used Quorn meatless fillets and found they are in the top three to use for enchiladas.

If you haven’t heard of this brand I have blogged about them before. They come from the UK, 85% of this protein is made of mycoprotein, Myco is a Greek word for fungus,( so I guess I am still stuck on sharing recipes with fungi) This fungus protein has been available for food consumption since 1985 and made from Fusarium venenatum which is a naturally accruing fungus. The process is pretty interesting if you like to Geek out read/watch how they make things.

This protein is high in fiber but low in sodium, sugar and bad fats. I prefer this texture over other prepackage meat substitutes, maybe its my love for fungus, who knows. It has a lower carbon foot print compared to chicken or other meat so that is a big bonus.

Yes, eating fresh non-processed food is the best but I found when combining fresh with this kind of packed food sometimes can be ok and much safer than other alternatives.

The rest of the recipe only has a few more ingredients they are prepackaged but it makes for an easy to prepare meal.

Veggie Chicken Green Chili Enchiladas:

Serving size 3-4 Total time 1 hour and 15 minutes

8 White Corn Tortillas

2 1/2 cups of Cheese of your choice

1 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1-2 cups of Salsa Verde

1/4 cup of Veggie broth

1 Package of Quorn Meatless Fillets cooked and cut up in bite sized pieces

To cook the Quorn fillets I found placing them in a small pan with just enough water to cover then adding salt and pepper to the water, place a lid on the pan, cook on med/low for 20 minutes or less but if you are short on time I am sure a microwave will be fine. You know the fillets are done when you can put a fork in them. Take off heat remove the fillets letting them cool on counter. Save the water adding veggie bouillon to the water, if you have less than 1/4 cup of water left just add more to the pan. Shred or cut up the fillets in bite sized pieces.

With pan on the stove on a med/low heat add the pieces of fillets to the veggie broth then add half of the cheese. While stirring the mixture add half the Greek yogurt and half the salsa verde. You want a creamy mixture but not runny. When the cheese is melted and all ingredients are mixed well take of stove.

Warm up tortillas (I find wrapping them in a damp cloth and microwaving them works great but warm them how ever suits you)

While tortillas are warming up in a separate bowl pour remaining salsa verde and yogurt together mixing well.

Place one warm tortilla on counter spoon just enough of the fillet mixture on the tortilla to fill but not over flow. Roll filled tortilla, then place with seam side down in a 7×11 pan that has a small amount of salsa mixture on the bottom continue filling tortillas and placing them in the pan letting them touch. When all the enchiladas are in the pan pour the remaining salsa/yogurt mixture on top add cheese then baking uncovered at 375 for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it is bubbling.

Posted in Recipes

Tempeh Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Fries

Do you ever get hungry for sloppy joes? I do for some reason; I don’t know if it’s because of my childhood or what but they are almost a comfort food for me and being vegetarian, I have gotten very creative and sometimes those recipes are best not repeating but this time I think I came up with a winner and wanted to share it. I am trying to not use as much soy or processed foods since my cancer diagnoses and yes tempeh is cooked fermented soybeans, but I found out that in small amounts it is safe for me to still have some soybeans. Infact the benefits outweigh the risk, or so I was told.

Some of those benefits are stabilizing blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps with bone health, improves digestion and one I am really happy about is it has been shown to help with menopause and all those fun symptoms! So, for me it’s a great food to substitute meat with. Tempeh comes in a thin block so you can slice it for strips to be used in place of steak, bacon, lunch meat. Sometimes cutting it into bite size pieces for a nice stir-fry or it’s great to crumble like I did for today’s recipe. I even decided for the sloppy joes I would do a copycat from Manwich for the sauce.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes:

Serving size 4 Total cooking time 30 minutes

1 8-ounce package of plain Tempeh

1 small green bell pepper diced.

1 small white Onion diced.

3-4 cloves of garlic diced.

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1/2 Cup of no sugar Ketchup

1 1-2 Teaspoon of Mustard

1 Teaspoon of Redwine vinegar

1 Tablespoon of brown sugar

1 Teaspoon of vegetarian Boullioun

Chili powder, Onion & Garlic powder, Black pepper, Paprika per taste or about 1 teaspoon each

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Remove tempeh from package then cut into cubes, this will make it easier to crumble it into the skillet.

In a skillet over medium/high heat add olive oil, tempeh, onion, garlic, bell pepper. Sauté until bell pepper is tender and onions are translucent. Turn heat to low then add remaining ingredients, stir and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Serve with homemade sweet potato fries and enjoy.

Sweet Potato fries:

1-2 sweet potatoes

olive oil

Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt

Wash, peel (if desired) sweet potatoes then slice them to the desired size. Place sliced sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush sweet potato slices with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and back at 450 for about 20 minutes but cooking time varies per size of slices.

Posted in Uplifting

I’m going to win!

On my morning walk the other day I heard a big commotion at the front door of a house I was getting ready to walk past. As I looked up to see what was going on I notice a very rambunctious 3–4-year-old girl trying to get ahead of her dad and older sister. She moved past with speed and shouting with all her might of “I’m going to win!” and of course, she did, she made it to their car way ahead of her family who could have cared less, in fact were telling her to slow down, but that didn’t dampen her spirits she jumped up and down with happiness in knowing what she already knew. She had indeed won!

How many of us still have that childlike excitement of things. Or have that ownership of good things to come. The knowing that we can do whatever we put our minds to. That little girl didn’t look at the obvious which was her dad or sister could have beat her with little effort. Instead, she buzzed pass in the firm reassurance of winning even before she made it to the car.

The fact that most of us look at overwhelming odds then choose to see defeat instead of shouting and seizing the victory. Is maybe something that happens as we age. We seem to get jaded by life and the monotony if living can bring.

But….what would it be like if we took some of our life experiences, lessons learned and kept the excitement of the little child in all of us. There would be no stopping us! What would it be like to dream again and go for it. I don’t believe you are ever too old to dream, if you have a pulse and breath coming and going from our lungs then why not?

As I was reflecting on this I am reminded of the parable of the talents that Jesus told.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You may say Jesus is a little over the top with casting the one servant into outer darkness but isn’t that what happens when we let what is given to us be left unused? We are then left in the darkness of despair, feeling less than, depression and hopelessness sets in, to me that is uttermost darkness. I think the one who made us knew we are meant for great things and when we settle for less the overwhelming darkness sets in, but He didn’t want that to happen.

I know with the new year hear maybe with a fresh start we could decide this will be our year to fully embrace our God given potential and not let the nay sayers win. To use our talents and just make a run for it.

I love how Martin Luther King said it ” If you can’t fly the run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”.